College was a blur of lecture halls, sorority girl charades, and long commutes home to a dead end relationship. I tried fitting in, tagging along to frat parties followed by late night munching at the dining hall where I gained my Freshman 15. I’d return to my dorm only feeling more lonely and displaced. I turned to extreme fitness as a way to escape the discomfort.
Thanks to YouTube, I taught myself how to exercise and lose weight. I became obsessed, training excessively and pushing my body to exhaustion day after day after day. I counted every calorie, demonized carbs, and offset sugar cravings with tons of artificial sweeteners. I’d stuff Truvia packets in my purse and fell in love with a zero calorie pancake syrup. Ignorant to any healthier alternative, I overloaded my diet with fake, chemically processed foods out of desperation to steer my life back into control.
From summer to fall of 2014, I’d lost a dangerous amount of weight and the scale continued to drop. My hair grew thin and started to fall out. I often felt bloated from sugar alcohols and preservatives from diet snacks. My lack of nutrition made me irritable and fatigued. I had an estranged relationship with myself and my connection to friends and family drifted. I’d stare at my frail naked body in the mirror only with disappointment, questioning why I didn’t have more abdominal cuts. I’ll never forget going in for a simple check-up. My doctor warned my kidney function was at risk if I didn’t make improvements to my nutrient deficient diet.
My last semester before graduation, I traveled abroad to Rio de Janeiro. My host family embraced me with intense generosity and kindness. I felt loved. I explored rainforests not knowing what critters I’d encounter. I took the corner bus, undaunted by the fear of getting lost. I felt courageous. I filled up on confidence, bravery, and joy in Brazil. I got a taste for a life with a whole lot less grip and regiment, but one of vibrancy and vitality.
I returned home, moved to Miami, and started my personal training career with Equinox. I continued my education from world-class leaders of the industry, soaked up knowledge like a sponge, and implemented my learnings immediately. I was enlightened by a holistic approach to wellness. I learned the detriment of overtraining and under recovering. I learned how to qualify food, fuel my body, and eat mindfully. This philosophy was the answer to aesthetics, strength, energy, and overall peace of mind.
I flipped my eating habits upside down by eliminating all artificial sweeteners, processed foods, and inflammatory ingredients. I chose real, minimally touched foods. I became an artist in the kitchen, inventing recipes bursting with flavor and that charged me with energy.
As I dove into brain health and meditation, I became a skilled eater. I realized my dependence on trendy diets and food scales were only preventing my emancipation from food. I took the time to fully experience my food by eating slower so that I could notice all of my senses. I was beginning to understand what it meant to wholeheartedly indulge in a healthy way. I learned how to fearlessly follow my intuition and listen to my body. Bonus: I became stronger, faster, sharper, and transformed my body to the best it’s ever looked.
Today, I continue to coach clients through exercise, nutrition, and self-care so they, too, can achieve higher levels of vitality in their life. It’s no surprise that the clients who double down on their nutrition also experience more joy and fulfillment as they progress on their journey. I empower clients to overcome deeply ingrained eating patterns, clean out their pantries, and bring a delicious whimsy to healthy food.